Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that allows overlaying digital content like images, videos, and 3D objects onto the real world, thereby giving the illusion of being a part of it.
A business that solves its customer’s problems effectively, gets rewarded with the customer’s loyalty and trust. AR is becoming an invaluable tool in the hands of Retail businesses that aim to constantly impress their customer base and stay ahead of the competition. Some applications of AR in retail are as follows.
1. Product Virtual Try On
Augmented Reality helps businesses attract more customers. By using AR, a brand lets customers try on different products virtually. It eliminates the need to visit the store in person. The application of Augmented Reality in retail can be seen in popular stores that sell makeup, clothes, shoes, and other wearables. Most people are more willing to spend money on things they have tested on themselves. Some brands that use AR for this purpose are:
- Sephora: The Sephora Virtual Artist lets you try on lipstick shades, eyeshadows and false lashes on their faces virtually and even mix different products to see how they look before buying.
- Lenskart: The Lenskart app uses your camera to let you try out glasses online before buying them.
2. Visualizing Home Items
Knowing how a table or a sofa will fit in your home when you are buying it in person at a store is almost impossible. This is how the application of AR can impact sales. Augmented Reality offers customers a way to try on products at home before purchasing them.
- IKEA: IKEA Place app, which allows customers to preview how furniture will look in their homes in 3D.
- Amazon AR: Amazon introduced a new feature called AR View that lets customers visualize online products in their own living space, using their smartphone camera.
3. Virtual Fitting Rooms
In some cases, customers can decide to buy an item and try it at home only to return it due to a poor fit. Other times, they might choose not to buy because of the hassle lining up to use the fitting room. Augmented Reality can solve this problem. By incorporating virtual mirrors in retail, customers can see how outfits look on their bodies without actually trying them on.
- Timberland: This brand offers virtual fitting rooms where customers can try out outfits for their collections without wearing them.
- Cisco StyleMe: Cisco introduced a virtual mirror technology known as StyleMe. It allows customers to try on clothes using AR.
4. Accessing Product Information in Stores
Nowadays, most of the customers use their phones to search for product information while in a store. The majority of them use their smartphones to check and compare prices. There is always some information that potential buyers can’t ask for sales assistants.
Using Augmented Reality retail stores can provide important details like product description, color and size options, customer reviews, prices, etc.